Another Phoney

When the late Daniel Cassidy brought out his moronic crapfest How The Irish Invented Slang ten years ago, it should have bombed immediately. Cassidy himself was a fraud and a narcissist, who somehow conned his way into a job as a professor in a small college in California without any qualifications at all. He didn’t speak any Irish or have any knowledge of linguistics. Most of the phrases which are given in his book as the origins of slang terms were made up by Cassidy and never existed in the Irish language.

However, Cassidy sucked up to a large number of credible people, writers, genuine university lecturers, musicians, and these people gave him good reviews for his lying book. Because of this, many people have been tricked into thinking that there is substance to his ludicrous theories. Another strategy he employed to protect himself from criticism was the claim that academic linguists and lexicographers with Anglophile leanings were involved in a grand conspiracy to hide the fact that words like baloney and wanker came from Irish! Of course, this conspiracy never existed, and Cassidy is rejected by linguists because is ‘work’ is shoddy, stupid and without evidence.

Because of the liars who have supported this narcissistic dimwit, ten years on we are still finding people on line claiming that this or that piece of nonsense from Cassidy’s book is true or that his book as a whole should be treated as real scholarship. Just a couple of days ago, another of these people popped up on Twitter. Mary Ann Pierce advised people doing research on the history of spoken Irish in the USA to ‘read the late Daniel Cassidy “How the Irish Invented Slang.”’ Whenever I see some random fool encouraging people to waste their money on Cassidy’s fraudulent book, I look for evidence of conspiracy. Why? Well, there most certainly is a conspiracy in relation to Cassidy’s book. A conspiracy of over-privileged arseholes in America who have decided to suppress the truth about Cassidy and treat the Irish language with disdain and contempt.

There are various pieces of biographical information about Mary Ann Pierce on line. She was involved with a campaign to save a church along with – wait for it – Peter Quinn, Cassidy’s best friend, and (John) Joe Lee, who wrote a glowing review of this rubbish for the back of the book. She is also associated with the Irish American Writers’ and Artists’ Association, which was co-founded by Cassidy. Whenever anyone praises this book, there is almost always evidence of this horrible parcel of phoneys trying to suppress the truth and I have no reason to suppose that this is an exception.

4 thoughts on “Another Phoney

  1. David L. Gold

    Cassidy’s baseless claim of an Anglophilic anti-Irish bias on the part of the staff of The Oxford English Dictionary that has led it [so he supposed] to assign non-Irish etymologies to English words that are clearly in his opinion of Irish origin was his attempt to pour balm on his wounds, as if to say, “It’s not that I’m wrong. I’m right, as the people at the OED know but refuse acknowledge because of their anti-Irish pro-English bias.”

    The OED is proceeding scientifically with respect to the influence of all the Celtic languages on English, as this article makes clear:

    Thier, Katrin. “Of Picts and Penguins – Celtic Languages in the New Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.” In Tristram 2007:246-259.

    Tristram, Hildegard L.C., ed. 2007. The Celtic Languages in Contact: Papers from the Workshop within the Framework of the XIII International Congress of Celtic Studies, Bonn, 26-27 July 2007. Potsdam. Potsdam University Press.

    The entire volume may be read free of charge online at

    1. DebunkerOfCassidy Post author

      Hi David, That’s a very interesting article. It looked familiar – I’ve actually read it before, a few years ago. As you say, scholars do what scholars do. People like Cassidy do what people like Cassidy do. Most of them wind up in prison, though a few like Cassidy slip through the net….
      Did you see my comment about shamus and its supposed Irish origins? Where do you stand on that one? Is it plausible that it comes from Yiddish or Hebrew?

  2. David Louis Gold

    Good morning, Since I don’t have access to the third edition of the OED, I can’t see the entry there for shames ~ shammes ~ shamus, etc., which would be essential for any informed opinion. If you or any reader of your blog has easy access to it, that would be helpful. If a reader, I trust that you would not mind serving as an intermediary so that my email address would not be disclosed. Regards,David Gold 

    1. DebunkerOfCassidy Post author

      Unfortunately, I don’t have that access either, though I might be able to access it if I can get to the right library. I will be away for a couple of days (and offline) so don’t be surprised if you don’t get a reply for a while. All the best!


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